Women at the Peace Table: 200 women demand peace back on top of the agenda

Two hundred women from around the world gathered in Ypres on Saturday for the Women at the Peace Table conference. The gathering concluded with the launch of the #WomenPeaceTable declaration and a call to put peace back on top of the agenda.

Among the participants at the peace conference was Sima Samar, former Afghan minister for Women's Affairs and human rights activist. Congolese Annie Matundu Mbambi, president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, was also present.


During several sessions, women from Israel, Palestine, Russia and Ukraine shared their testimonies with the audience at Het Perron cultural centre in Ypres. Annie Matundu Mbambi from Congo, Laila Alsheikh from Palestine, Robi Damelin from Israel, Svetlana Utkina from Russia and Olena Volodymyrovna Tuchanko from Ukraine spoke about the need to give women a full place in processes of conflict resolution and prevention.

"It's easy to increase defence budgets, but other ways exist to make political investments to prevent and resolve conflicts"

At the end of the conference, Belgian actor Maaike Cafmeyer presented a peace declaration. "A personal commitment, but certainly also a signal to our politicians. It's easy to increase defence budgets, but other ways exist to make political investments to prevent and resolve conflicts".

The mayor of Ypres, Emmily Talpe (Open VLD), was the first politician to add her signature to the pledge. Anyone who wants to can co-sign the peace pledge.

Women at the Table is an initiative of Make Mothers Matter, with the city of Ypres and its grassroots partners Mothers for Peace, Mama Kivu and the Women's Council.


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